This past Weekend in the WLA was chock full of action. This weekend 6 of the 7 WLA teams were in action. The action started on Friday night as the Burnaby Lakers faced the Vitoria Shamrocks to kickoff the weekend, on Saturday night the Coquitlam Adanacs faced the Maple Ridge Burrards, on Sunday the Burnaby Lakers faced the Maple Ridge Burrards and the New Westminster Salmon Bellies faced the Nanaimo Timbermen.
On Friday Burnaby and Victoria battled in a very close game but Burnaby was able to finally get the edge and win 10-9 in overtime. The first period was back and forth as both teams matched each other goal for goal to make the score 2-2 after the first period. In the Second period Victoria jumped out to a lead by scoring 2 consecutive goals, Burnaby though would respond by scoring three consecutive goals of their own. Victoria and Burnaby each added another goal before the period ended making the score after two periods 6-5 in favor of Burnaby. Burnaby would extend their lead in the third period by scoring two goals to start the period but Victoria would roar back with 3 consecutive goals in order to force overtime. The score was tied 8-8 after 60 minutes of play. Victoria struck first in overtime on a Ryan Benesch goal but Burnaby would gain the edge and the win off two consecutive goals by Scott Jones. Both goalies in this game were stellar as Joe Bell for Burnaby stopped 41 of 50 shots and Matt Flindell of Victoria stopped 43 of 53 shots. The first star of the game was Victoriaâ€™s Ryan Benesch who had 4 goals and 2 assists, the second star was Victoriaâ€™s Jeff Shattler who had 2 goals and 2 assists and the third star was Burnabyâ€™s Shaun Dhaliwal who had 2 goals and 2 assists. Burnaby improved to 4-2-2 on the season with this win while Victoria fell to 5-2 on the season.
On Saturday night the Coquitlam Adanacs faced the Maple Ridge Burrards. Coquitlam and Maple Ridge each scored 3 goals in the first period to make the score 3-3 after one period of play. In the Second period Maple Ridge scored 2 goals at the beginning of the period to take the lead. Coquitlam would fight back with 3 goals of their own but Maple Ridge added two more goals to extend their lead. At the end of the second period the score was 7-6 for Maple Ridge. In the third period Maple Ridge opened the scoring but Coquitlam would dominate the period as they scored 7 consecutive goals to win the game 13-8. Nick Rose continued his excellent play for Coquitlam and stopped 34 of 42 shots. Maple Ridge played well for two periods of this game but disappeared in the third. The first star of this game was Coquitlamâ€™s Travis Cornwall who had 3 goals and 5 assists, the second star was Coquitlamâ€™s Ryan Johnson who had 2 goals and 3 assists, and the third star of the game was Maple Ridgeâ€™s Randy Daly who had 1 goal and 3 assists. With the loss Maple Ridge falls to 0-7-1 on the season and will continue to search for their first win of the season. Maple Ridge has been in many tight games this season but their inability to play good defense in the third period has cost them time and time again. For Coquitlam this was their third win in a row as they improve their record to 4-4 on the season.
On Sunday the New Westminster Salmonbellies faced the Nanaimo Timbermen. Nanaimo started off this game with their offense firing on all cylinders as they jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period. In the second period New Westminster responded with a vengeance as they outscored Nanaimo 6-2 in the period and took a 7-5 lead. In the third period though Nanaimo would make a comeback scoring 3 goals in a row to open the period and take the lead. New Westminster responded with a goal but Nanaimo quickly squashed the comeback by adding another goal to increase their lead. Nanaimo won the game 10-8 and handed New Westminster their forth loss of the season. Zach Boychuck was stellar in net for Nanaimo stopping 44 of 52 shots and holding New Westminster to only two goals in the third period. The first star of the game was Nanaimoâ€™s Cory Conway who had 3 goals and 7 assists. The second star was Nanaimoâ€™s Cody Bremner who had 3 goals and 1 assist, the third star of the game was New Westminsterâ€™s Martin Cummings who had 1 goal and 3 assists. With the loss New Westminster falls to 4-4 on the season while Nanaimo improves to 3-3 on the season.
In the final game of the weekend Maple Ridge faced Burnaby. The two teams played great defense in the first period with each team only allowing a goal. The score was tied 1-1 after the first period. In the second period Maple Ridge solved Burnabyâ€™s defense and scored 7 goals in the period and continued their strong defensive play holding Burnaby to only two goals in the period. After two periods of play Maple Ridge was leading 8-3. Maple Ridge would continue to play strong defense in the third period preventing Burnaby from making a comeback and holding them to two goals. Maple Ridge would add another goal in the third and won 9-5 for their first win of the season. Maple Ridge goalie Drew Dickie was the key factor in Maple Ridgeâ€™s stellar defensive play as he stopped 34 of 39 shots in the game earning first star honors. The Second star of the game was Maple Ridgeâ€™s Randy Daly who had who had 2 goals and 2 assists, and the third star of the game Burnabyâ€™s Clark Colton who had 2 goals. With the loss Burnaby falls to 4-3-2 on the season. While Maple Ridge ends their losing streak and improves to 1-7-1 on the season.
The WLA standings after this weekend are in 1st Victoria, in 2nd Langley, in 3rd Burnaby, in 4th Coquitlam, in 5th New Westminster, in 6th Nanaimo and in last place Maple Ridge. The WLA will be back in action on Wednesday June 20th as the Langley Thunder plays the Maple Ridge Burrards.